Post Script: I have to pass this along. Some people have noticed a certain Michael Jackson dancer had not quite mastered the "Smooth Criminal Lean" in time for the VMA's. Check out the 3:34 mark on this video. You'll know who it is. The King of Pop would not be pleased.
11:30 PM Personally, I think the Michael Jackson movie This Is It reeks of his family trying to cash in on his death. These were rehearsals after all, and for a performer who was such a perfectionist, he would probably hate for people to watch anything but the finished product. Til next year.
11:24 PM Jay-Z closes out the night with Alicia Keys and "Empire State of Mind." Props to Young for performing the best song on The Blueprint 3 instead of his latest single like "DOA" or "Run this Town." Jay-Z sounds a little husky, which for all I know could be another New Moon cross promotion. As Sam Schlinkert tweeted earlier today, "Empire State of Mind sounds like sex on my speakers." This is in the discussion for greatest Jay-Z track, even with the weird Anna Wintour reference. And that's how we'll remember the 2009 VMA's, a show that started with a bang, ended with a bang, and had a lot of crap in between. We also might remember it as the night that we finally buried racism.
11:14 PM Are you happy, Kanye? Beyonce, predictably and deservedly, wins Video of the Year. She brings out Taylor Swift, who kind of steals the spotlight. I think the nation just had another legendary race relations moment. And we didn't even need Obama or beer!
11:11 PM How many times tonight do you think Kevin Lincoln has told the people sitting around him that he interviewed Wale? He should walk around with a yellow sign that reads "Warning: Names Falling."
11:02 PM The nipple pastie lives! In a tasteful homage to Lil Kim, Pink performs with only a glittery heart covering her left breast. She is also on trapeze. Hey, Pink. Britney called. She wants her circus theme back.
10:59 PM Lady Gaga devotes her Best New Artist award to "God and the gays." She exits quietly for her date with that South African runner that makes everyone uncomfortable.
10:50 PM This is easily the worst choice tonight, Kanye be damned. Eminem winning for "We Made You" is simply a catastrophe. It was a bad song and a worse video. So Eminem wins an award for making crude, lazy impersonations of easy pop culture references? He was dressed as Bret Michaels for God's sakes! This is disgusting. I would have even taken Asher Roth over this. This alone makes me Team Mariah.
10:33 PM Did T.I. just win Best Male Video in spite of being in jail or because he's in jail? T.I. couldn't give an acceptance speech. He's a little too busy telling his inmate that he can do "whatever he likes."
10:22 PM Wouldn't it be awesome if Taylor Swift came on stage and started doing the dance to "Single Ladies"?
10:19 PM In a movie with this many shirtless men, it's a little disrespectful that they didn't offer Matthew McConaughey a role in New Moon. I also just realized that I bailed on my New Moon references count. Sorry. Let's just say there were a lot.
10:15 PM People are not really understanding Beyonce supposedly getting "robbed." She's going to win Video of the Year, which means she probably isn't going to win for Best Pop or Best Female. Sure, it makes logical sense to win those two awards; after all, it would be impossible to be a female with the video of the year and not win Best Female Video, but that would make for a pretty boring awards show. Who wants to see Beyonce win 3 awards for the same song?
10:11 PM For a band called Nerds in Disguise, they sure look like nerds. I know, that was an easy joke.
10:01 PM So Russell Brand just made a joke about date-raping Megan Fox. Guess he's saving the statutory rape jokes about Miley Cyrus for the second hour.
9:54 PM I'm going to have a lot of trouble wrapping my mind around this Lady Gaga performance. In the middle of "Paparazzi," one of the dancers is pushed around in a wheel chair. Oh yeah, she also simulates her own death and rise to heaven. I have no idea what to make of this. Is this some sort of tribute to Princess Diana? Were they close?
9:49 PM 3oh!3, the "pride" of Denver, performs. Don't worry, with Cutler just throwing his third interception, nothing can bring the Mile High City down tonight.
9:45 PM By the way, there's an interesting debate as to who had a worse meltdown in NYC this weekend: Kanye or Serena? Maybe Kanye should have threatened to shove that mic down Taylor's throat.
9:42 PM Taylor Swift sings "You Belong With Me" on an NYC subway car in some sort of spontaneous performance. Yep, 40 white people 18-24 randomly on the subway who all know the words to a Taylor Swift song in a car equipped with strobe lights. Just a normal Sunday night in the Big Apple. But I'll give her a break on this one because she is not singing through tears.
9:37 PM These sure are slim pickins for the Best Rock Video. Green Day wins for "21 Guns." Is Kanye going to come up and talk about "Viva La Vida?"
9:32 PM Wale is doing the in-house entertainment tonight, which was an interesting choice. I like Wale, but unless he has a role in New Moon, I don't think this is his crowd.
9:27 PM Kanye West storms the stage and steals the microphone from Taylor Swift, yelling that "Beyonce had one of the best videos ever!" Taylor Swift doesn't even get to finish her speech. I don't care how deserving she was, that was a classless move. Between Michael Jordan's petty Hall of Fame speech and Kanye West's complete lack of respect, this has been a rough week for Chicago icons. For shame, Kanye. For shame. And this is from one of your biggest fans.
9:23 PM The werewolf from Twilight just told Shakira "Every She-Wolf needs a He-Wolf," bringing our New Moon references to three. I don't know if the right artist has ever won for the wrong song before, because Taylor Swift just won for "You Belong With Me" instead of "Love Story."
9:20 PM Let me be clear about this: Lady Gaga has the best outfit of anyone this decade at the VMA's. (Remember, it's been ten years since Diana Ross touched Lil Kim's exposed breast.) The only highlight thus far is how the beep button guy at MTV fell asleep at the wheel and let a "vagina" slip through.
9:15 PM Brand's first joke is about how he just spent the last ten minutes looking at Katy Perry's ass instead of the Jackson tribute. Strike one.
9:13 PM And then Katy Perry and Russell Brand perform "We Will Rock You" and any sense of class exits Radio City Music Hall. That was short.
9:11 PM Janet Jackson enters and does Michael's verse from "Scream" as well as her own rendition of Michael's solo from the video. This was a surprise hit, just a respectful tribute to Michael's work. This could have been incredibly forced, with all the big names fighting to make a Jackson tribute, but they left it to his moves and his sister.
9:09 PM The long-awaited Michael Jackson tribute is actually pretty cool. Dancers are all in one of three iconic Jackson outfits, the white shirt/ white glove, the red jacket, or the black jacket with a lot of gold glitter. As Michael videos are shown in the background, they all perfectly replicate the dance moves. Well done.
9:06 PM "There's a whole lot of crotch-grabbing and moon walking going on in my house," says Madonna. Somewhere, Guy Ritichie just had a horrible flashback.
9:02 PM Leave it to Madonna to make a tribute to Michael Jackson all about herself. "He never got to have a childhood, and when you don't have something, you become obsessed by it." Getting a little controversial here, Lady Gaga Sr. Now she is telling a long-winded story about going to dinner with Michael Jackson in 1991, where she tried to make him eat french fries, say bad words and drink wine. Never a good sign when you're with Madonna and you look like the weird one.
8:55 PM Sasha Fierce has 9 nominations tonight. I'd put my money on "Single Ladies" for Video of the Year. Mom adds, "I think the front of her dress is two inches below her crotch." We are five excruciating minutes away from the Michael Jackson tribute.
An interview with Leighton Meester brings our New Moon references to two.
8:50 PM So apparently Pink and Shakira are wearing the same dress, making a very easy "Who Whore It Better?" segment. Pink hasn't looked this out of place since the "Lady Marmalade" video.
8:46 PM This VJ just namedropped who is here for about 30 seconds and then introduces a stunning interview with... Fefe Dobson. Who is Fefe Dobson?
8:42 PM My thoughts on the Fame music video: where is Zac Effron?
8:37 PM Kristin Cavalarri makes a nice cross promotional visit on the red carpet to promote The Hills. Kristin actually went to elementary school in Colorado with a couple friends of mine from high school. Quite predictably, they had less than nice things to say.
8:30 PM We are coming to you live from the Axt household in Denver, Colorado (I made the times Eastern). The city is still riding high from our fluke-tastic football win earlier this evening. We are joined tonight by my mother, at least temporarily. It's Sunday night, so be prepared for a lot of "I have to miss Mad Men for this!" and "I get to miss Entourage for this!" jokes.
The night starts out on a high note with an interesting comment from Diddy on Michael Jackson. "It's important that we keep our legacy alive. I mean his legacy alive." Mom remarks, "Well, that was a Freudian slip."
Also worth noting is that we just got our first New Moon reference. I'll be keeping a running tally throughout the show.
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